RodeoHouston is right around the corner and if the Grammy Awards, held on February 10, were any indication, we're in for a treat based on how who appeared on the telecast and who took home the golden gramophones.
Kacey Musgraves, opening the festivities on February 25, cleaned up at the industry fête, earning a monster four wins for Album of the Year and Best Country Album for the acclaimed Golden Hour, Best Country Song for "Space Cowboy," and Country Solo Performance for "Butterflies." Cardi B (March 1) won for Best Rap Album, Both performed during the show and will later take to the center stage at NRG to show us why they deserved to win those trophies.
(Stay tuned later this week for our Top 10 RodeoHouston shows we're excited to see.)
Meanwhile, it's a busy week in live music in H-town with a diverse lineup hitting local stages. CultureMap's biggest, best, and most notable shows are as follows:
CultureMap show of the week: Travis Scott does an AstroWorld encore
Missouri City native, Kardashian boyfriend, and undeniably one of the biggest rappers in the world, Travis Scott returns to his stomping grounds following the by-all-accounts successful AstroWorld Festival last December and an appearance on the Grammy Awards broadcast. This time, he'll bring the amusement park meets hip-hop experience to the Toyota Center, giving fans a second chance to see him, promoting the biggest album of 2018 named after a lost Houston landmark. Let's hope this show won't involve pepper spray.
Travis Scott brings AstroWorld to the Toyota Center, located at 1510 Polk St., on Wednesday, February 13. Tickets start at $39.95 plus fees. Doors open 7 pm.
Monica at Arena Theatre
Georgia R&B singer Monica rose to prominence in the late '90s when MTV's Total Request Live made a star out of a new generation of pop stars. Monica got a boost with the huge duet "The Boy is Mine" with Brandy. That song launched her career into the stratosphere, leading to a string of No. 1 albums and singles, eventually selling over 5 million albums. She would later solidify her star status by moving over to acting roles on Living Single and Felicity, in addition to her own reality series. She's back on the touring circuit and will no doubt draw a large segment that grew up with her.
Monica is at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy., on Thursday, February 14. Major opens. Tickets start at $49.50 plus fees. Show starts at 8:30 pm.
Coheed and Cambria at HOB
For those about to rock, we salute you. New York based progressive metal band Coheed and Cambria will bring the noise to House of Blues, led by lead singer and double axe wielding Claudio Sanchez. Coheed rose to fame in the late-'90s, incorporating metal, prog rock, emo rock, and classic rock riffs in a way that few bands have the balls to attempt today.
Like many '70s prog rock acts, the band isn't afraid to embrace its inner nerd, incorporating sci-fi elements and concepts into the songwriting, their latest album aptly titled, Vaxis - Act 1: The Unheavenly Creatures. That said, the band rocks hard, making this a must-see for fans of turning amps up to 11.
Coheed and Cambria performs at House of Blues, located at 1204 Caroline St., on Friday, February 15. Foxing opens. Tickets start at $39.50 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.
Dwight Yoakam returns
Call it pre-gaming for RodeoHouston. Country favorite Dwight Yoakam returns to Houston, performing on another rotating stage at Arena Theatre this week. Simply put, the man is a legend, plying his trade in old school country songs that led to the sale of over 25 million albums, five No. 1 albums, and over 30 country hit songs. His husky voice and honky tonk sound are straight outta Nashville back when performers dressed like the Marlboro Man.
Dwight Yoakam is at Arena Theatre, located at 7326 Southwest Fwy., on Friday, February 15. Tickets start at $55 plus fees. Show starts at 9 pm.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise at Revention
The day-glo named North Carolina act Rainbow Kitten Surprise may sound like a spin-off of The Flaming Lips, but they're actually more rooted in alt-folk than Wayne Coyne's outfit, incorporating hooky melodies and funky rhythms into it's acoustic-driven, wood and wire tunes, making them more akin to a folksier Portugal. The Man. The band is touring behind the 2018 album, How to: Friend, Love, Freefall.
Rainbow Kitten Surprise are at Revention Music Center, located at 520 Texas Ave., on Saturday, February 16. Tickets start at $30 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
The Kooks got into the game 10 years too late. Their mid-aughts debute Inside In/Inside Out would have been a massive hit in the heyday of '90s Brit-pop with catchy melodies, spiky guitars, and a band comprised of young, good-looking, well dressed men. Take a look at singles like "Naive," "She Moves in Her Own Way," and "Ooh La" as proof. Instead, they were viewed as a cleaner cut Libertines and while they did well back home in their native U.K., they never made much of a dent on U.S. shores. But if you're into contagiously hooky British rock, The Kooks are still worth checking out. Their latest is 2018's Let's Go Sunshine.
The Kooks bring the Britpop to White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Saturday, February 16. Barns Courtney and Future Feats open. Tickets start at $28 plus fees. Doors open at 8 pm.
BJ Barham at Heights Theater
We're on the record as recommending the Asleep at the Wheel show at Heights Theater on Friday night, but since that one's sold out, we encourage those without tickets to give alt-country crooner BJ Barham a roll. The American Aquarium frontman is on the road for a solo jaunt after the successful release of his band's latest, Things Change. The honey-voiced troubadour is in the same vein as Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, and Drive-By Truckers.
BJ Barham performs at Heights Theater, located at 339 W 19th St., on Friday, February 8. Joshua Ray Walker opens. Tickets start at $20 plus a $5 service charge. Doors open at 7 pm.
CultureMap recommends: Courtney Barnett and Sunflower Bean
Aussie alt-rocker Courtney Barnett is a star on the rise with wordplay and throwback riffs endearing her to audiences worldwide. Her 2015 album, Sometimes I Sit and Think, and Sometimes I Just Sit introduced us to her deadpan, Gilmore Girls delivery and often hilarious, very real observations of everyday life, soundtracked to grunge and indie-rock riffs straight from a classic episode of 120 Minutes (see the excellent "Pedestrian at Best").
Her latest record, Tell Me How You Really Feel was considered one of 2018's best. Even better, NYC cool kids, Sunflower Bean, are back as support following an opening stint with Interpol last fall. This is one helluva lineup.
Courtney Barnett headlines at White Oak Music Hall, located at 2915 North Main St., on Monday, February 18. The great Sunflower Bean open. Tickets start at $30 plus fees. Doors open at 7 pm.